EQ Through a Different Lens
As a leader, I’m sure that you have heard lots about Emotional Intelligence, also known as EQ. A lot of leaders that I work with will even roll their eyes when I bring up EQ. They tell me that they’re tired of hearing about it. But there’s a reason we need to talk about EQ…
Get EQ into the Conversation
Organizations with top corporate cultures don’t talk about emotional intelligence or EQ. Why? Because they don’t need to; their leaders have it and get it that top cultures don’t just happen. Top organizational cultures require planning, purpose, values alignment across the entire team, and daily love and attention. To get the last part (the love and attention bit), the leadership needs to understand that every human on the planet makes their decisions emotionally. They also need to understand that when a leader is able to connect emotionally with their people, the team will connect emotionally with customers. Profit naturally follows.
Don’t believe me? You can believe Kotter and Heskett’s research where, over an 11-year period, they discovered companies with top cultures had a net profit increase of over 750%. Or look to research from Keller and Price, where in 2011 they found companies with top cultures outperform bottom cultures on EBITDA by a ratio of 2:1.
Becoming a Top Culture
So, how do you actually use EQ to become one of these so-called “top cultures?” It’s not as hard as you think, but it takes work. Here’s my simple 5-step approach that I hope can help get you there:
- Hire for attitude and values alignment. All other skills can be taught, but attitude and values are innate. This hiring practice should include the leaders you hire or promote.
- Have team members that don’t have great attitudes or their values are misaligned? Give them an immediate and generous severance package. They are a culture cancer.
- Take purpose and values off the boardroom wall and bring them into the everyday life in your organization.
- Get emotional. Logical targets mean nothing to people until they connect emotionally to a goal.
- Talk to your team. But what about? Here are some ideas…
- Their progress. It sounds ridiculous, but you would not believe how many managers don’t place an importance on progress reports and open dialogue.
- Their individual development.
- Catch them doing things right. Praise them when you do.
- About how important they are to the company, customers, and their teammates.
- About what is expected of them and how they contribute to the success of the business. Again, it sounds basic, however, 97% of the businesses I worked with don’t do this at all.
“Not” the EQ type? Change your mindset, or learn to be happy with being mediocre.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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